Agent of Change

A Blog by Cory!! Strode, who really should write something interesting here.

Today’s observations

My political observations today:

-Last night Trump said that a congresswoman’s dead husband was in hell. She is being criticized for saying that what Trump said was despicable and hurt her deeply because we should be used to the President being a vile, abusive piece of dog crap by now I guess.

-If the Republicans are upset that the articles of impeachment are being delayed, they should just think of them as military aid to a country being attacked by Russia, and it’ll be perfectly fine and Jesus-like.

-Any time Louis Gomert speaks, I pray for Skynet to activate and wipe out humanity.

-I watched 15 minutes of the “debate” in Congress and saw a man say that Jesus was treated better than Donald Trump by Pontius Pilate, that CNN is a criminal organization, and I have no idea what the rest of them said because I was too busy throwing up.

-The same people who said they would begin Impeachment proceedings the day Hillary Clinton took office in 2017 were near tears saying that the Democrats have planned this since day one of the Trump Administration, proving that not only is projection real, but it makes you cry.

-I haven’t turned Fox News on, were they all wearing black armbands?

-Last night’s episode of All Elite Wrestling was really good. It has nothing to do with politics, but since I cover it for PWInsider.com, I was glad to see they are improving the show.

-The most pathetic story out of the whole day was when Lindsey Graham said he was on the phone with Trump, consoling him over the impeachment. Let. That. Sink. In.

-The Democrats have a Presidential debate tonight that I could not possibly care less about. Let me reiterate: I would vote for a damp cloth is they ran it against Trump.

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Holidays

This is your annual reminder that the holidays is not a Hallmark movie for everyone.

I worked in juvenile justice group homes for almost 20 years, and the holidays were awful. I came to dread that time of year. Clients would act out more often and more violently for a LOT of reasons.

In a dysfunctional home, the holidays are a time of stress. Alcohol and drug abuse goes up, kids are inundated with images of families and things they don’t have, and abuse rates skyrocket. Add to that that the clients would build up their expectations for the holidays so high there was no way they could be fulfilled, and sometimes, parents don’t’ even show up for them.

We did everything we could do to keep things low key, and when I was a supervisor, I helped the staff understand why the holidays were hard, and how not to build it up as “the most wonderful time of the year”.

I worked hard to make sure that my staff could have the day off, usually working the day on my own, and to make the day special for the clients who had to be at a group home on Thanksgiving or Christmas, I’d set up a great meal, bring in movies, and video games and let them relax and hang out like teenagers.

I keep seeing “Shame these businesses for being open on Holidays”, but hospitals, group homes and the like don’t close. When I needed a place to go get a meal on a holiday, I was grateful for the restaurants that were open.

I have worked at and attended movie theaters on holidays (Thanksgiving and Christmas are insanely busy days at movie theaters) and so on and so on.

And the stores wouldn’t open if there wasn’t a demand for them to offer a supply.

Not everyone has family to spend the holidays with. Not everyone celebrates the same holidays. Not everyone has a job that can afford to take days off. And some people need that extra income from working on a Holiday in order to make ends meet.

The holidays are a good time to step into someone else’s shoes and show empathy and kindness, which is the gift we can all give each other. I am spending a lot of time thinking about what we owe each other lately, and I think that making each other’s lives be less stressful is a good start.

Much love to friends old and new, and Happy whatever you celebrate.

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Beto

If you had Beto O’Rourke in your Presidential Campaign Deadpool, it’s time to head to the pay window.

I never quite grasped the idea the Beto was a national figure. He rose to prominence by getting beaten in a Texas Senate race by one of the most disliked politicians in the US, Ted Cruz, and his only other claim to fame was three uneventful years in the House. He got good publicity when he started, but it faded pretty quickly when he turned out to be Generic Democratic Candidate number 22, and by the time he decided to make gun safety his issue, he was already a has been. He needs to rack up a few wins before he can be what he is hyped to be. He can give a good passionate speech about guns, but that’s about it, and that ain’t enough.

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What I am thinking about today: 11/28/2019

What I am thinking about today:

Saturday night, I was working at the group home alone, with all of the clients either in bed, in their room, or snoozing in a chair. It got incredibly lonely, and I’d like to thank you folks on the Facebooks for posting things to make me feel like I was connected. I really love reading about your lives, your creations, your jokes, your memes, seeing your selfies, looking at your meals, and everything else. I was able see what people were doing all over the world, and I will never ever not be impressed by this.

The new American Godzilla movie from this summer is in a DVD two pack with the American Godzilla movie from a few years ago. I am thinking that it didn’t quite meet financial expectations.

I am shocked that the people of DC and Baltimore were mean to the President after he said repeatedly that their city was a rat and roach infested trash heap. It’s like they thought he was insulting them or something.

Much love to friends old and new.

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What I am thinking about today: 10/25/2019

What I am thinking about today:

If you want proof of our priorities as a country, we have pulled troops away from protecting our allies in Syria because they only paid in blood and lives. We are moving troops into Saudi Arabia because they pay cash, and to protect oil fields in Syria because that pays in oil. Message to the world: We don’t’ give a damn about anything but oil and treasure. Alliances and promises are as worthless as a contract with a Trump company. I realize that other than voting next year, nothing is to be done about the above, but it is disturbing to me. In the past, we were just as horrible, but we tried to cloak it in good intentions, or attempt to mitigate it with other assistance or aid. Now, under Trump, we’ve become the caricature the world had about the US at its worst, and he brags about it openly. Reagan, who was as dirty as the day is long, and never met a 3rd world country his people didn’t think needed to be taken over by right wing thugs, said we were a “shining city on a hill.” Now, we’re third rate thug with a thumb ring.

I am thinking that Pumpkin Spice Flavored Wine would be to “Live, Love, Laugh” women like “75% off graphic novels” would be to me.

We just got Marvel’s January solicitations yesterday, and they are dropping information about their February books today. Slow down, buddy. I know you’re excited, but how about hyping the books you’ve got coming out next week instead?

I know people are wary of smart speakers, and some with good reason, but I adore mine. I have put together playlists, routines to give me information in need in the morning, set it for reminders and more, which helps in dealing with juggling two jobs, one of which is fairly mercurial. I feel bad for people who are “covertly listening” to me, as they will quickly realize how incredibly boring I am.

My only group home shift this weekend is Saturday night, so I have broken my promise not to work Saturday nights. I will also be doing extra hours at the office job, or evenings at the group home all next week. So, check-ins are appreciated, as is pie, obscure crime and detective novels from the 5-‘s and 60’s, phone calls from the Netherlands and offers of asylum.

Much love to friends old and new, and I hope you are able to do something wonderful over the weekend.

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What I am thinking about today: 10/24

What I am thinking about today:

Lately, I have been buying an extra package of socks when I go to Target or Wal-Mart to donate to the new homeless shelter in my area. Everything I read is that the one item of clothing always in demand is socks, and people rarely, if ever think of it when they donate clothing. I also saw that internet pal and friend of many of my friends Ely Mattson does kind things for others on her friend’s birthdays, so I will be packing up that baton and doing some kind things for people as someone who drifted out of my life has their birthday.

I am four weeks into doing coverage of AEW for PWInsider.com. I do the play by play recap and an audio hotline that you need to buy a membership to listen to. It’s always a rush to get it written in a timely manner, since the show doesn’t have a lot of rest holds or commercials. It’s tiring but exhilarating at the same time and like no other writing I have ever done. Hopefully, I am halfway decent at it, since there isn’t a lot of time to polish or wordsmith.

Much love to friends old and new.

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What I am thinking about today: 10/23

What I am thinking about today:

For the longest time, I have meditated on the question, “What do we owe each other?” This seems like a complex question, and delves to the heart of community, society, and kindness. Now, I am going to start asking, “What do I have to do for me?” Not in a selfish way, but what I do I need to do in order to hit Maslow’s highest plateau of self-actualization. It would be easy to point at time in the past when I was insanely productive, in a relationship that felt effortless, or was incredibly fulfilled by work, but those things are all transitory. It’s a mix of finding the best self-care, being productive on what I feel is important, and communal responsibility. This will keep my mind occupied more than it probably should.

I’m thinking that waking up and getting out of bed was the incorrect choice today. Not because it’s a bad day, just that I am exhausted. OK, and they have put me on yet another client at the office job, but only for a few days because they under-estimated the demand for phone reps.

A friend of someone I used to know is posting pages of books she reads with relevant passages highlighted. I think I will start doing that, as it’s a cool way to spread the ideas and prose I am reading.

I have been reading articles about how American discourse has been made angrier, and they lay the blame at the feet of Trump. I will say that Trump’s bully-boy, tough guy, lowest common denominator pandering to the worst of his base isn’t helping, but I still say that in politics, it all goes back to the end of the Fairness Doctrine in the 80’s. That ushered in an era of political talk radio that was more akin to Sports radio. This then bled into a politicized form of TV news so that other than a ridiculously few examples, cable news is just people who disagree with each other shouting and name calling. Of COURSE this would eventually become how we do politics because for over 30 years, this is how we are shown to discuss important issues about how to solve shared problems.

Much love to friends old and new, and I hope that today, you are able to put aside some time for a single moment of bliss during your hectic day.

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What I am thinking about today 10/22/2019:

 It’s entirely too clear that I should not have worked every night last week at the group home job. I still exhausted, irritable and feel like I am months behind on things. Could it be I am getting too old to put in 60 to 70 hour weeks? Nah, it’s got to be something else.

It’s about time for NaNoWriMo.org, National Novel Writing Month, and I’ll be taking part again. I even have a keyboard for my tablet so that I can write pretty much anywhere. I like November for writing, even though it’s our busiest month of the year in the Benefits world because it helps me focus on the writing. I know it’s hard to believe, but with two jobs and multiple podcasts, I find it hard to put aside time for writing and usually only do it a couple of times a week during the rest of the month. All I want to say about this year’s novel is that the theme will be how hard it is for groups to stay together and the cost of bad leadership.

Speaking of our busy time, the Overtime for the office job has been coming every week, despite them saying that there will be no overtime. Now that we are hitting the busy time of the year, there is even MORE of it. I pretty much take it since I live by myself, don’t date, and can schedule podcasting around it. So…there’s that.

I was reading through some older comics last night and it struck me just how good Robert Loren Fleming was. Of course, Thriller was ground breakingly brilliant, but his Ambush Bug scripting still cracks me up, and his work on the mini-series Underworld as well as the Ragman revamp from the 90’s. A damn shame we don’t have more work by him. I’d also love to get that pitch his did for Thriller, since DC Editorial at the time said it was the best pitch they had ever received.

Much love to friends old and new.

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Podcast schedule

I am putting together my Podcast schedule for the next 6 – 12 months, and so far I will be doing:

Kray Z Comics and Stories every Monday where Krayz Joe Rider and I talk comics every week.

Novelcast every other Wednesday (quiet, I mean it this time) Where I turn the novels I have written into podcasts.

Series in review at least once a month and maybe more. This is where I, and sometimes someone else, give DVD commentary on comic series of the past.

Solo podcasts on an ad hoc basis

I am still working out when the podcasts I do with Dan Mohr and Adam Vermillion will be updated and moving. I didn’t plan on taking the summer off from the other stuff I do, but it just worked out that way when the Group Home job needed me every night.

Now, they don’t, so I can get back to the stuff I love. Hopefully, there will also be a revamp of my long neglected webpage to become a hub for all of the audio goodness and other things I do, rather than the leftovers from my website from the early 2000’s.

My other plans for the rest of the year are work, paying bills, watching TV, going to the art galleries in the Twin Cities, driving in the snow, and cursing at my alarm clock every morning at 6:20 am.

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Letter from Trump’s Civil War

Dearest Dakota,

The Yankees have blocked the satellite dish with their damnable tree, so I am unable to get updates from Fox News, but I believe we are winning this war. I can still read our dear leader’s tweets, and as I pass Starbucks, I yell “Fake News” out the window to pwn the libs. I can still get Slim Jims and 64 ounce Cokes with plastic straws from the local gas station, so I am able to hold out a while longer. I have faith in our great general Sean Hannity, even though he says he is too important to visit the battlefield, he is sending producers to call the Yankees socialists and make fun of their book learnin’. I will now return to my bed to hold and protect my 57 guns in fear that these weak pansy liberals will break into my house with their jackboots and take them from me.

In MAGA’s name I pray,

Austin

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